Flashback: Richard Sherman NFL Draft Scouting Report

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  • "Sherman is a size prospect with some good intangibles that will help him mold into a contributing backup corner for a press-heavy team. However, he does not possess the natural coverage instincts, fluidity or burst to be considered a future starter. Is comfortable and capable in press man, using his size to disrupt receivers' releases off the line, but doesn't show enough make up speed to consistently recover when beaten. Awareness in zone and off-man are only adequate. Has average ball skills but some upside as a playmaker. Tough against the run but still developing from a technical standpoint. Sherman is a Day 3 prospect."

    - NFL.com


    "Athletic defensive back with terrific size who is still learning the position. Shows an aggressive streak, works hard to get involved in the action and voluntarily defends the run."

    - Sports Illustrated


    "A former receiver who led the Cardinal in receiving yards in 2007-08, Sherman made the switch to cornerback in 2009 and has quietly developed into a legitimate NFL prospect.

    Sherman is still prone to mental lapses. He stunned television analysts and scouts by biting on a double-move in the closing seconds of the first half of the Senior Bowl, but Sherman's size, physicality and steady improvement since making the switch is sure to intrigue teams on the draft's third day.

    Positives: Possesses excellent size for the position. Has a lanky, evenly proportioned build with room for additional muscle mass. Good ball skills due to his experience at receiver. Physical. Doesn't back down from the challenge of bigger receivers. May be just scratching the surface of his potential.

    Negatives: Questionable speed overall. Has a high backpedal and loses a step in his transition, allowing receivers to separate when he misjudges their route, leading to being beaten over the top. Is especially susceptible to smaller, quicker receivers. Was a late injury replacement at the Senior Bowl and while he helped his cause with a solid performance there, pessimists will argue that he had the freshest legs."

    - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
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  • You can tell Rob Rang took a look at his size and then stereotyped him without really watching the guy. "Big = gets beat by smaller, quicker receivers." No need to actually find out that he's really freaking fast, not just for his size, but really freaking fast.

    If Rang were a reporter, he'd have gotten fired for not getting confirmation.
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  • NFL.com really crapped the bed with that scouting report.
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  • Not to crap on Rob Rang (though I am), he's pretty brutal with the scouting stuff. Got his notoriety accurately guessing Ruskell's terrible picks. I've heard him numerous times call Kasen Williams a 1st round talent, which I find rather laughable (as a UW fan).

    I love the draft, but these Draftniks get their favorite mid-late round guys, play them up and simply ignore the other non-first round types. I clearly remember a Bleacher Report "draft expert" proclaiming the Seahawks having by far the worst draft. That very draft netted RW, Wagner, Irvin, Sweazy, Turbin, Lane...not too shabby.
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  • Is there any question as to why Sherm lugs around a Mt. Shasta sized chip on his shoulder?
    Please, please, PLEASE world keep doubting him. I BEG you!
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  • Two things.

    One, Sherman really wasn't a very good corner at Stanford. He got beat. A lot. When Sherman talks about being mad that he's a 5th rounder, honestly I think he should be thankful instead. Because if not for Pete Carroll, Sherman might not be in the NFL at all. Even his college coach didn't draft him. There's been no shortage of guys on this team the last few years who either bombed in the NFL elsewhere or were not viewed as useful assets by the league, and Pete not only made them NFL players- he made them great ones. Sherman is the ultimate example of that.

    Two, any scouting report that says a player can never be a starter is silly. How can anyone ever know that? The list of terrible NFL prospects who morphed into great NFL players is a long one.
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  • Dave Wyman pretty much agrees with your post Kearly. He said that he was a guy that he kept an eye on since he was a Stanford grad and watched him transition from WR to CB. He does nothing but praise Sherman for his work ethic and amazing transition to a top-CB in the league.
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  • How was anything Rob Rang said wrong?

    Even Sherm himself when comparing his self to Patrick Peterson... he said something like... that their games are different, Peterson is more athletic and faster, and Sherman isn't which forces him to be perfect technique wise and consistent play to play.

    If anything Rang's report gave those most compliments to Sherman while identifying his faults coming out of Standford as a player who was still growing into his position.

    No one here at the time, not even the coaches thought Sherman would have the dedication, drive, commitment, and ability to transform himself into one of the leagues best corner.

    You guys are posting what other people said... but what about you... did any of you exclaim that the Seahawks took the next best up and coming defensive back. Probably not... most of you likely glanced at his 40 time and thought... this dude is too slow for the league to ever be a premium starter.

    And then you probably bagged on Sherman like every does after a JS/PC draft that didn't net Okung/Thomas plus Tate, Thurmond, Chanchellor, and McCoy.
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  • Pandion Haliaetus wrote:How was anything Rob Rang said wrong?

    Even Sherm himself when comparing his self to Patrick Peterson... he said something like... that their games are different, Peterson is more athletic and faster, and Sherman isn't which forces him to be perfect technique wise and consistent play to play.

    If anything Rang's report gave those most compliments to Sherman while identifying his faults coming out of Standford as a player who was still growing into his position.

    No one here at the time, not even the coaches thought Sherman would have the dedication, drive, commitment, and ability to transform himself into one of the leagues best corner.

    You guys are posting what other people said... but what about you... did any of you exclaim that the Seahawks took the next best up and coming defensive back. Probably not... most of you likely glanced at his 40 time and thought... this dude is too slow for the league to ever be a premium starter.

    And then you probably bagged on Sherman like every does after a JS/PC draft that didn't net Okung/Thomas plus Tate, Thurmond, Chanchellor, and McCoy.


    I knew nothing of Sherman as a cardinal.but as soon as he stepped on the field as a Seahawk I told everybody within earshot how talented he was
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  • Rob Rang's report is dead on, IMO. The problem is simply pointing out positives and negatives isn't a good scouting report if it doesn't weigh each skill/flaw against the other.

    Yet, that part is what makes things so hard scout. You can generalize a players strengths and weakness across the league, but it's difficult to predict that a player with a specific skill will get drafted by a team that especially utilizes those skills and can cover the bad parts of their game.
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  • I made a generality that I think Rob Rang is pretty brutal (as I know many others who follow the draft think as well) as a "draftnik." No one is 100% with the draft, but me (personally), I find myself seeing things very differently than Rang and it's obnoxious how much KJR takes his word as gospel.

    What did I think/proclaim when Sherman was drafted? Nothing. I don't get paid to "scout," nor do I have a blog that addresses the topic, and quite frankly, nobody cares about my opinion on the draft. So, I'm not going to make proclamations as if my word truly means something. If I have an opinion, then I will share it on boards like this (as my opinion, not inevitable truth).

    I do apologize if you have a personal relationship with Rang and this offended you. It's my opinion of him as a "draftnik," not as a person.

    Pandion Haliaetus wrote:How was anything Rob Rang said wrong?

    Even Sherm himself when comparing his self to Patrick Peterson... he said something like... that their games are different, Peterson is more athletic and faster, and Sherman isn't which forces him to be perfect technique wise and consistent play to play.

    If anything Rang's report gave those most compliments to Sherman while identifying his faults coming out of Standford as a player who was still growing into his position.

    No one here at the time, not even the coaches thought Sherman would have the dedication, drive, commitment, and ability to transform himself into one of the leagues best corner.

    You guys are posting what other people said... but what about you... did any of you exclaim that the Seahawks took the next best up and coming defensive back. Probably not... most of you likely glanced at his 40 time and thought... this dude is too slow for the league to ever be a premium starter.

    And then you probably bagged on Sherman like every does after a JS/PC draft that didn't net Okung/Thomas plus Tate, Thurmond, Chanchellor, and McCoy.
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  • kearly wrote:Two things.

    One, Sherman really wasn't a very good corner at Stanford. He got beat. A lot. When Sherman talks about being mad that he's a 5th rounder, honestly I think he should be thankful instead. Because if not for Pete Carroll, Sherman might not be in the NFL at all. Even his college coach didn't draft him. There's been no shortage of guys on this team the last few years who either bombed in the NFL elsewhere or were not viewed as useful assets by the league, and Pete not only made them NFL players- he made them great ones. Sherman is the ultimate example of that.

    Two, any scouting report that says a player can never be a starter is silly. How can anyone ever know that? The list of terrible NFL prospects who morphed into great NFL players is a long one.


    Spot on. I think many, including myself, forget that these are young guys who have not matured mentally yet. Many in the first couple rounds are there because of size and talent alone. Intelligent draft analysts now are starting to view intelligence and football knowledge as very important. Not just an extra.

    I believe Sherman had above average talent and great size when he came out of Stanford, then added extraordinary intelligence and knowledge of the game within, what, 3/4ths of the beginning of his rookie year.

    Tom Brady comes to mind. Matt Hasselbeck as well, although Matt did have a stellar career at B.C. And many argue now Brady could have had a good college career.

    As for speed, He runs a 4.5 forty, and a 10.77 100meter dash. That is pretty freaking fast!
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  • kearly wrote:Two, any scouting report that says a player can never be a starter is silly. How can anyone ever know that? The list of terrible NFL prospects who morphed into great NFL players is a long one.


    Exactly. Always baffles me when scouts or analysts definitively write off prospects or draft picks. So arrogant and obnoxious. How the hell do you know that there's no way a guy will ever do something? All you're doing is setting yourself up to look foolish (HUGE MILLEN ANYBODY?).

    With all of the guys on the record for saying Russell Wilson will never accomplish anything beyond being a nice backup, I wonder if we'll begin to hear less of these pompous proclamations. Nah, doubt it. People never learn.
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  • SeaTown81 wrote:
    kearly wrote:Two, any scouting report that says a player can never be a starter is silly. How can anyone ever know that? The list of terrible NFL prospects who morphed into great NFL players is a long one.


    Exactly. Always baffles me when scouts or analysts definitively write off prospects or draft picks. So arrogant and obnoxious. How the hell do you know that there's no way a guy will ever do something? All you're doing is setting yourself up to look foolish (HUGE MILLEN ANYBODY?).

    With all of the guys on the record for saying Russell Wilson will never accomplish anything beyond being a nice backup, I wonder if we'll begin to hear less of these pompous proclamations. Nah, doubt it. People never learn.


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  • Pandion Haliaetus wrote:How was anything Rob Rang said wrong?

    Even Sherm himself when comparing his self to Patrick Peterson... he said something like... that their games are different, Peterson is more athletic and faster, and Sherman isn't which forces him to be perfect technique wise and consistent play to play.

    If anything Rang's report gave those most compliments to Sherman while identifying his faults coming out of Standford as a player who was still growing into his position.

    No one here at the time, not even the coaches thought Sherman would have the dedication, drive, commitment, and ability to transform himself into one of the leagues best corner.

    You guys are posting what other people said... but what about you... did any of you exclaim that the Seahawks took the next best up and coming defensive back. Probably not... most of you likely glanced at his 40 time and thought... this dude is too slow for the league to ever be a premium starter.

    And then you probably bagged on Sherman like every does after a JS/PC draft that didn't net Okung/Thomas plus Tate, Thurmond, Chanchellor, and McCoy.


    Lots of assumptions here about all us fans and our ability to see or agree and disagree with talent aquired.

    Also 32 teams passed on Sherman 4 times, Pete took a chance on a player that he knew and recruited. He was still raw but Pete knew his personality a lot better then others and his drive etc. Thats what brought him to Seattle, Pete gave Sherman a chance, Sherman took the opportunity and ran with it. Sherman I think appreciates the fact that Pete and John beleived in him and that he could excel. We will see how much come contract time.
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  • That last one sounds more like Browner than Sherman.
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  • I think kearly and Pandion nailed it. I like to think I follow Seattle pretty closely, but in the 2011 draft, he was an afterthought and I forgot he was on the team until he started after Thurmond got hurt. He's extremely smart, but you have to give a lot of credit to PC's ability to develop CBs.
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  • Sports Hernia wrote:NFL.com really crapped the bed with that scouting report.

    You can't really blame them, can you? So did 32 teams, including the Hawks who drafted him in the 5th and didn't give him a starting role.
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  • kearly wrote:Two things.

    One, Sherman really wasn't a very good corner at Stanford. He got beat. A lot. When Sherman talks about being mad that he's a 5th rounder, honestly I think he should be thankful instead. Because if not for Pete Carroll, Sherman might not be in the NFL at all. Even his college coach didn't draft him. There's been no shortage of guys on this team the last few years who either bombed in the NFL elsewhere or were not viewed as useful assets by the league, and Pete not only made them NFL players- he made them great ones. Sherman is the ultimate example of that.

    Two, any scouting report that says a player can never be a starter is silly. How can anyone ever know that? The list of terrible NFL prospects who morphed into great NFL players is a long one.


    I disagree. Sherman was great at corner his last year at Stanford (which was only his second year at the position). He didn't get beat "a lot". Stanford pretty much blew out everyone they played except Oregon, including blowing out VT in the Orange Bowl, so how did he "get beat a lot"? Stanford had three shut outs that year. I don't recall these "beats a lot" you're referring to. His first year at the position, yes he had ups and downs (one of the ups being a pick-6 vs USC in the "What's your deal" game), but he was solid his last year. Just as Baldwin was great that same year at Stanford.
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  • I wonder if perhaps due to the intelligence also required to get into Stanford, perhaps mid-round picks have a noticeably higher chance to succeed that came from Stanford compared to the "mean", or all other mid-round picks?

    You have to think that Stanford graduates have less of a problem adjusting to the pro game on a mental level, no?
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  • I never heard of the guy until I saw him get roasted at the end of the first half in the senior bowl. Just a terrible play, that might have done more to hurt him than anything. At the time, all I knew is he was tall, and Pete wanted tall, and I couldn't figure out why.

    Which is why Pete coaches and I watch.
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  • Hasselbeck wrote:
    "Sherman is a size prospect with some good intangibles that will help him mold into a contributing backup corner for a press-heavy team. However, he does not possess the natural coverage instincts, fluidity or burst to be considered a future starter. Is comfortable and capable in press man, using his size to disrupt receivers' releases off the line, but doesn't show enough make up speed to consistently recover when beaten. Awareness in zone and off-man are only adequate. Has average ball skills but some upside as a playmaker. Tough against the run but still developing from a technical standpoint. Sherman is a Day 3 prospect."

    - NFL.com



    The only thing in this entire paragraph thats even somewhat accurate is the bolded.
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  • seahawkfreak wrote:
    kearly wrote:Two things.

    One, Sherman really wasn't a very good corner at Stanford. He got beat. A lot. When Sherman talks about being mad that he's a 5th rounder, honestly I think he should be thankful instead. Because if not for Pete Carroll, Sherman might not be in the NFL at all. Even his college coach didn't draft him. There's been no shortage of guys on this team the last few years who either bombed in the NFL elsewhere or were not viewed as useful assets by the league, and Pete not only made them NFL players- he made them great ones. Sherman is the ultimate example of that.

    Two, any scouting report that says a player can never be a starter is silly. How can anyone ever know that? The list of terrible NFL prospects who morphed into great NFL players is a long one.


    Spot on. I think many, including myself, forget that these are young guys who have not matured mentally yet. Many in the first couple rounds are there because of size and talent alone. Intelligent draft analysts now are starting to view intelligence and football knowledge as very important. Not just an extra.

    I believe Sherman had above average talent and great size when he came out of Stanford, then added extraordinary intelligence and knowledge of the game within, what, 3/4ths of the beginning of his rookie year.

    Tom Brady comes to mind. Matt Hasselbeck as well, although Matt did have a stellar career at B.C. And many argue now Brady could have had a good college career.

    As for speed, He runs a 4.5 forty, and a 10.77 100meter dash. That is pretty freaking fast!


    Matt has a pretty poor college career actually.
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  • RolandDeschain wrote:I wonder if perhaps due to the intelligence also required to get into Stanford, perhaps mid-round picks have a noticeably higher chance to succeed that came from Stanford compared to the "mean", or all other mid-round picks?

    You have to think that Stanford graduates have less of a problem adjusting to the pro game on a mental level, no?


    I assume there's some correlation between general intelligence and so-called "football intelligence", but I don't know how strong the correlation is. But I suspect that Stanford grads might be more studious in general, which would translate to spending more time studying film and the playbook than other players do. So maybe there's something to that.
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  • I remember being excited, but because I thought that a CB with WR skills would be a good ball hawk, and because Stanford played a lot of rough, mean football and I just considered kids from Stanford tough (if you work with Stanford grads you know how funny that statement is).

    I thought he would be very good, but I never thought he would blossom/blow up like he has. I saw him as a physical corner with ball hawking skills, not a shutdown corner at all.

    The guy I completely missed the boat on was in the draft the year earlier, Earl Thomas, who is probably a very significant reason that Sherman is so comfortable and thus so good. Sherman can take risks because Earl can erase mistakes. I still feel dumb about more excited about Kam in 2010 than Earl (not that Kam is not an absolute stud).

    I know we all love our GM but it cannot be emphasized just how difficult it is to not only get starters out of the later rounds but to do so consistently. 3 years in a row we got a better than 50% hit rate on the draft. In fact, for the past 3 years (not including the last draft which is skewed by team depth and the lack of a 1st rd pick) we have had hits on 6 out of the first 8 picks and averaged at least one contributor in the rounds below that. That isn't just good, it is insane. If you score those picks, based on how those players grade against the average player in their position (league wide) the score is even higher.

    Go look at the hit rate for the average GM and then you will realize that Sherman was no fluke. These guys seem to see everything, or near everything.

    Not only did our FO identify Sherman, but they put him into a system surrounded by players that literally could not be more tailored to his style and skillset. Earl is the Eraser, removing any mistakes. Browner takes the role of the physical corner and additional run support and Sherman is given perfect situation to freelance in. Kam just roams as our enforcer, covering the middle. All Sherman has to do is cover his man and jump routes/steal the ball occasionally. He can take those risks here. Sherman would probably excel anywhere but I don't see him being able to play anywhere else where he would make a bigger impact than he has here.
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  • kearly wrote:Two things.

    One, Sherman really wasn't a very good corner at Stanford. He got beat. A lot. When Sherman talks about being mad that he's a 5th rounder, honestly I think he should be thankful instead. Because if not for Pete Carroll, Sherman might not be in the NFL at all. Even his college coach didn't draft him. There's been no shortage of guys on this team the last few years who either bombed in the NFL elsewhere or were not viewed as useful assets by the league, and Pete not only made them NFL players- he made them great ones. Sherman is the ultimate example of that.

    Two, any scouting report that says a player can never be a starter is silly. How can anyone ever know that? The list of terrible NFL prospects who morphed into great NFL players is a long one.


    Beat me to it. Sherman wasn't the best prospect coming out of college. The thing is, you can't really project a career arc, like Kearly said. You can't tell how fast a guy will digest stuff, be able to used it out on the field, and progress. You can only try to gauge work ethic and character. Intangibles are the hardest thing to gauge; it's why people value physical measurables so much because they're well...measurable.

    Russell Wilson lacked the physical prototype to be an NFL QB, but he has loads of intangibles. There have been a lot of college QBs that washed out yet still had intangibles. Look at Tebow: he has prototypcial size and great intangibles, but terrible technique and doesn't seem to be able to overcome that. People knocking WIlson's size were right. Historically, it's very difficult for QBs to make it in the NFL that are under 6'. You're playing the odds, and 9 times out of 10, you're right.

    Both things go together. People act like Sherman was a bad ass right out of college and everyone else was a dumbass. Thing is, Sherman is special because you won't see this progression out of a guy like that maybe but once every 5 years or so. Don't expect the same thing from Tharold Simon, and when/if he doesn't progress, don't go calling him a bust. It's not expected from 5th rounders. It's rare. Enjoy it.
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